Sunday, June 17, 2012

Bryce Harper Wore A Platinum Sombrero

Baseball phenom Bryce Harper had a bad game on Saturday. And that's being generous. Before I get to his awful night at the plate and some historical stats, let's keep in mind Bryce is just 19-years-old and not just playing Major League Baseball but playing it well. Most of us have had days that could have gone better when we were 19. When I was in college, I gave hobo in Little Five Points $5 to battle rap against a dog. Bad example, that was awesome.

Bryce wasn't so fortunate against the Yankees. Harper went 0-7 with 5 strikeouts and 0 that's a clown question bros. Disappointing all the way around. The Platinum Sombrero (5 strikeouts in a game) isn't that common in baseball. Harper's shiny Mexican hat is the 126th since Lefty Williams in 1918.

There was only one Platinum Sombrero in 2011 when Chris Davis accomplished the feat. Harper marks the third in 2012 following Cody Ross and the aforementioned, swing happy Davis. Davis must have been nodding in approval Saturday when Harper managed to only see 24 pitches in his 7 plate appearances and swung and missed 11 times. Eerily similar to my Little League career.

Harper is just a kid, though. So how bad was his night historically? Three players 21-years-old or younger have earned a Platinum Sombrero. The most recent, and next youngest at 20, was Jason Heyward in 2010. Roberto Meija did it as a 21-year-old in 1993 for the Rockies. But I think that's when Colorado was running a promotion where you got to play for them if you collected the most Count Chocula box tops. Sammy Sosa also did it as a 21-year-old in 1990 when he was a skinny kid playing for the White Sox.

Harper is going to have better days. Many, much better days. But I think this one single game, in its smallest of samples sizes, answers the most important question in baseball right now. And the answer is Mike Trout.

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